President Trump on Tuesday abruptly fired FBI Director James Comey, sending political observers into a tailspin. While Trump said Wednesday that Comey was dismissed simply because he "wasn't doing a good job," the more elaborate official explanation has been what Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein wrote in a memo to Trump about Comey: that the former FBI boss badly mishandled the investigation of Hillary Clinton's private email server.
You may remember Trump was once positively gleeful about the FBI's investigation of Clinton, basking in "lock her up" chants at campaign stops across the country last year. He also praised Comey for having the "guts" to reopen the bureau's investigation, in the form of the infamous letter the director sent to Congress on Oct. 28, 2016, informing lawmakers that new (and ultimately irrelevant) emails had been discovered that pertained to the case.
But now, as CNN's Jake Tapper explained on his show Wednesday, the White House wants you to believe Comey was fired out of some newfound gallantry toward Clinton and how Comey mistreated her — and certainly not the president's evident "irritation with the FBI's Russia investigation," which is probing whether Trump or his associates knowingly colluded with Russia to tilt last year's election. White House officials have said Trump's frustration with Comey came to a head last week. "If only there was some way for us to see what was on the president's mind in real time last week," Tapper quipped. "Oh right, there's Twitter."
Tapper then pulls up Trump's tweets from the evening of May 2 — and, surprise surprise, they're about the "phony Trump/Russia story." Watch the full segment below. Kimberly Alters